Cold-weather exercising is a common practice for winter-sport athletes such as snowboarders, skiers, and hockey players. However, for an average exerciser, the chilly climate can prove discouraging, and it’s all too easy to skip your workouts and instead take refuge in the comfort of your home. But you don’t have to let the cold weather put an end to your exercise routine. Here we provide some tips to help you stay motivated - and warm - during your winter workouts.
Pay attention to weather conditions
Make sure to check the weather forecast before heading out. Some key information to keep in mind includes temperature, wind chill levels, moisture, and the length of time that you’ll be outside. Staying informed about he weather conditions allows you to avoid frostbite and other conditions, since the cold can make exercising outdoors unsafe even if you have warm clothes on. If the temperature falls below 5 degrees Fahrenheit, consider working out indoors instead.
Know your limits
It’s perfectly fine to exercise in the cold as long as you come prepared. But if you have certain conditions, such as asthma or heart problems, it’s highly recommended that you consult your doctor before taking your exercise outdoors in cold weather. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medications that will allow you to exercise safely in the cold.
Wear proper clothing
Of course, this is a no-brainer if you’re preparing to exercise in cold weather. But one of the biggest mistakes most people make is to overdo their efforts to dress for the cold. When exercising, your body generates a certain amount of heat - enough to make you feel warmer than it really is. The result? You’ll feel a sudden chill due to the evaporation of sweat and loss of body heat. That’s why you need to dress in layers, so you can simply remove the outer layer when you feel overheated.
Recognize signs of frostbite
Frostbite is a freezing injury that can occur to your exposed skin, such as your face, hands and legs. Whenever you experience loss of feeling or a stinging sensation on certain extremities, you should take cover in the nearest building and try to warm the affected area. Keep in mind that rubbing the skin will make things worse - it’s better to gently warm the skin in warm water. If there’s no water nearby, you can breathe through cupped hands and hold them on the affected area.
You need to drink plenty of fluid when exercising in cold weather, just as you do when exercising in the heat. The problem is, people don’t feel as thirsty when the weather is cold, and they give little thought to staying hydrated. But we lose a great deal of water from our body during cold weather, due to respiratory fluid loss through breathing. Being out in the dry, cold weather can cause dehydration without you knowing. So that’s why you need to consume water or sports drinks before, during, and after your workout, even if you’re not really thirsty.
Are the outdoor chills taking their toll on your body? Drop by our facilities to squeeze in a warm and energizing workout today.